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Seared Tuna with Kimchi and Scallion Pancakes

Christopher Lee's simple grilled tuna and crispy-chewy scallion pancakes are terrific, but what makes the dish so sensational is his kimchi, a version of the traditional Korean pickled-vegetable condiment. Unconventionally sweetened with honey and orange juice, it's utterly original and completely delicious.

slideshow  More Tuna Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese chile garlic sauce
  • 1 pound center-cut tuna steak (1 1/2 inches thick)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup Kimchi
  • Scallion Pancakes


  1. In a small skillet, heat the 1/4 cup of canola oil until shimmering. Add the shallot and ginger and cook over moderately low heat for 3 minutes, stirring, until softened. Remove from the heat. Add the soy sauce, vinegar and chile sauce; let cool.
  2. Light a grill. Brush the tuna with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the tuna over high heat, turning, until browned on all sides and still rare in the center, about 8 minutes. Transfer the tuna to a work surface and cut into 1/3-inch slices
  3. Drizzle some of the shallot-ginger dressing onto 4 plates and arrange the tuna slices on top. Mound the arugula next to the tuna and drizzle lightly with some of the shallot-ginger dressing. Serve with Kimchi and Scallion Pancakes.

Suggested Pairing

The lemon-apple flavors and silky texture of Grenache Blanc make it one of the few whites that pair with all three of the elements in this dish—tuna, kimchi and scallions. Originally from northeast Spain, Grenache Blanc is now grown in France and the United States too.

Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published July 2006

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